use all 7 editions in my campaigns (1, 2, 3, 3.5, 4, 4.5, 5) usually all a once. I have about 400 of the books (official) all the cores, most of the splats, boxes and boxes and boxes of tiles and minis. I just let my players go though the books and build characters from any of them, so 4ed races + 2ed classes + 3.5ed spells are fine by me. We figured it out once and across all the editions if you combined every race/class option, there are more than 180,000 player character combinations! When it come to the adventures, we tend to do AD&D/2ed most, esp RavenLoft and SpellJammer.
Long story, short, yeah we still play by AD&D rules.
I know a lot of folks get all in a huff if you mix editions but, I’m old school, I was into D&D way back BEFORE AD&D was even invented!
Back than you could grab any character out of any book, tv show, or movie and toss them in the game. Want to play Darth Vader?
Sure go ahead.
You want to be Godzilla?
What you want to be The General Lee?
You’re going to be a race car?
Not sure how you’ll pull it off, but why not!
And you say you’re going to be Vincent Price as a vampire?
Okay, so our adventuring party has a space villain, a dinosaur, a race car, and a vampire movie star, that sounds about right, well lets get started than…That’s the way we played D&D in the 70s! Metamorphosis Alpha style! You know. the FIRST edition of D&D BEFORE they called it D&D?
Back when the game was still being called Metamorphosis Alpha.
Now today you got players with their “You want to play a 4ed Wilden as a 2ed Thief, in a 3.5 adventure?
No! You can’t do that!”
The new players don’t know how to have fun.
Give me old school players not afraid to play CareBears storming Castle GreySkull!
I still play by the old school rules, I just pull all the new edition races and classes into the choice pool.
I’m getting ready to do the playtest with my group, but we are changing stuuf around and we haven’t even started yet.
(We are of course keeping track of the changes to tell WotC what we did to it.)
My games are run from a “set homebase” called Laughing Gnome Hollow. No matter what game we are running, the members of the adventuring party originated from Laughing Gnome Hollow or a neighboring village (usually the nearby forest or mountain).
That said, most of the players are by race Gnomes, unless they come from the mountains, than they are Dwarves, or the forest, than they are Elves. They can be any race they want to be, any race from any edition, even non D&D races from EverQuest, Pathfinder, or one of the many indie d20 books.
As long as I have to book, or the player brings the book if I don’t have it (which is unlikely considering I have more than 400 books and a total of 180,000 race/class combo options – yes – we did do the math to see how many options we had).
I even let them play evil alignments so long as they don’t kill/maime/hurt members of their party (the “evil” house rule is, you can be evil, but you know who your friends are and you got their back – even evil dudes have friends). So, Drow, Vampires, Lich, Illithid, Beholders, ect can even end up in the party from time to time.
But for the most part my players tend to prefer to play Gnomes, Dwarves, and Elves (including Drow) which was the first problem we ran into with the playtest…
Anyways I had planned to run the playtest straight from the rules no changes. However, I tell my players, here’s the new game we’ll be starting next week, here’s the character info they gave us, go create yourselves some level 1 characters.
Eye of The Grigoi
Eye of the Watchers
Eye of God
Hand of God
Eye of Protection
They set off, happily chattering about which class they are going to be.
“I haven’t been a monk before, I’ll try that.” ….
“Oh I like the new cleric options, I’ll be a light bearer.” ….
“Hey, can I be chaotic evil this time?”…
“You want to be Chaotic Evil? but I’m being Lawful Good!”
etc, etc … everything is going good until they pull of the race list.
“Let’s see, Humans, nay they’re boring, Elves,, Dwarves, Halflings … wait… no Gnomes? Hey, where are the Gnomes? I want to be a Gnome.”…
“Yeah, we gotta be Gnomes.” ..”There’s no Gnomes? But I’m always a Gnome!” … etc, etc, etc
So, first change of the playtest rules was for me to bring in the house rule that players could pick any race they wanted, even from the old editions. Which I didn’t have to say actually, I could have just said, “Okay, we’ll add Gnomes to the race list” and that would have been fine, because that was the only race they wanted to play.
So, my party of Gnomes, Dwarves, and one elf are ready to go…I’m still reading over the Caves of Chaos, but we’ll get started in a day or two.
But yeah, about your games there, a lot of folks are still using old D&D rules. Just be sure you use the OSRIC gaming license if you do publish them, because that’s the one you are required to use if you publish 1ed or 2ed adventures.
This article was originally written on: December 18, 2012
This page last updated on: May 16, 2017
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